Posted by: bitsydungaree | August 11, 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For

Knowing myself to be a fairly confident gal, I have been confused and, frankly, scared as, over the past few weeks, I have seen myself repeatedly crippled by shame and doubt about my appearance.

I don’t have it all that bad in the looks department, so I kept asking myself, where the hell is this coming from, this childish insecurity I thought I had conquered?

And then it dawned on me that, in the midst of reading Wild at Heart, I have been praying that God would reveal to me what author John Eldredge would refer to as my “wound.” 

Trying to make sense of all the times over the past few weeks that I have wanted to cry when a pretty girl walked in the room or tuned completely out of conversations with friends and tuned in to the voice telling me I’m worthless because my breasts are smaller than the girl’s at the end of the bar, it is painfully clear that God is revealing my wound as one of tremendous unhappiness with my appearance.

I also wrestled with the buried but unhealed hatred of my body while reading Sex God, in which Rob Bell points out that, if we are made in God’s image, hating the physical form He has given us is essentially hating a piece of our Creator. I prayed that God would let me love and respect Him more deeply by granting me an acceptance of the way He chose to create me.

But it looks like I didn’t pray hard enough because here I am brimming with enough insecurity to make an eighth grader seem well-adjusted.

I felt the Lord telling me to ask for prayer from my Bible study group in this area recently, but I shied away because it has been my experience that when thin, attractive young women admit to struggling with insecurity, we are often met with intense hostility and accused of fishing for compliments and/or being emotionally deranged. 

But who is anyone else to say whether or not my struggles are valid?  And who am I to say “no” when the Lord tells me ask for help?

In Captivating, Stasi and John Eldredge link what seems to be an almost universal struggle that women have with appearance to Satan jealously attacking us for reflecting so much of the beauty of God’s character. If that is true, and what seems to be otherwise irrational insecurity is actually the effect of the enemy attempting to punish us for what caused his own fall, then doesn’t it seem possible that a woman labeled “attractive” by society could just as easily be plagued by self-doubt as anyone else?

There are a hundred reasons why I am uncomfortable writing this and a hundred more why feel I need to.  Admitting weakness is not something that I do easily, but God has shown me that I need to give this struggle to Him before I can appreciate the beauty that He has given me, rather than continuing to ask those around me to prove something that they can’t.

And I trust that, just as God answered my prayers to show the wound to me, He will also answer my prayers to heal it, but until then if you wouldn’t mind praying for me too, the wound f-ing hurts.

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Responses

  1. Betsy, the other day I was on facebook looking at your sister’s wedding album and I thought how stunning you looked. I have always thought you were one of the most beautiful people, inside and out.

  2. A) Your struggles are completely valid.
    B) Yes, I will pray for you.
    C) I miss your beautiful face! 🙂

  3. babe, you are right on…
    i think sometimes the “attractive” of us, as branded so by society’s “standads” can truly suffer because we feel terrible about the way we look, feel terrible for feeling terrible and also, must deal with it all in silence else we face the stigma of being overly superficial, out of touch with reality and/or (my personal favorite) ungrateful for what we have… or what we are told others would “die for!”.
    good for you for saying out loud what so many of the supossed genetically gifted drive themselves crazy with in silence.
    oh, and you are totally hot and i totally wanna do you 😉

  4. I’ve been meaning to comment on this post for awhile.
    I struggled greatly with what you’re describing up until two years ago when I started dating Carter. I know it sounds like a cop-out, that a man can take away one’s insecurity, and I’m not saying that it doesn’t come back to haunt me every once and awhile. But self-doubt regarding my appearance has subsided A LOT since then because he made me feel beautiful from day one. Even now I get a compliment from him nearly every time we go out and even when we don’t. It’s made a world of difference because I think it’s indicative of the health of our relationship. He makes me feel great aesthetically but more importantly, he makes me feel great emotionally.
    Also, for what it’s worth, sometimes when I knew I was going out with your sister, I’d sabotage the evening so I couldn’t go. I won’t go into details about how I did it but it was pretty self-destructive. Going out with somebody who just floors every guy in the room can be awful. Feeling invisible is the worst feeling in the world and there’s nothing like a drop-dead gorgeous friend/sister to bring it on. We can talk more about this some other time. I guess my point is that how you feel inside often dictates how you feel outside.

  5. I, too, have prayed about God revealing my wound and any ‘agreements’ that I have made that are influencing my life.

    God revealed that my agreement has to do with self-hatred.

    So, I have asked God to reveal how I can revel in my femininity. I am endeavoring to heal this wound because I can see how it slowly poisons my relationship with my husband and my ability to minister to others.

    I am fully confident that God will deliver and that the healing I find will be full complete and beautiful. I am pursuing that with every part of me.

    Blessings to you in your journey!

  6. You’ve been tagged!

    (In other words, please come back to blogging!)

  7. wow. so i guess you’ve stopped blogging?


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